Archive for February 2006

Posting JLT

February 28, 2006

I was telling a friend that these days, “life is soooo blaaah……..” borrring! lacklustered! dreary! To add, she also is not in town……….
After my 50th, have been rather slow and sluggish at work……I am working on a few stories, though. Also, studying these days for some entrances. History, Sociology, Politics, Music, Literature, Economics, Business, Sports, Space research, Medical Science, fiction, non-fiction, Poetry…….and more. My blog (in the meanwhile) has accumulated about 8 odd drafts already reflecting my musings pertaining to a myriad of subjects/issues. But, I just dont feel like completing/posting any of those. Lazy lumb that I have turned into………
Off late, I have kinda developed a penchant for trivial sites. Took the book quiz and country quiz on Blue pyramid. Now you see the bored me, dont you??
My book quiz result:
You’re Pale Fire! by Vladimir Nabokov. You’re really into poetry and the interpretation thereof. Along the road of life, you have had several identity crises which make it very unclear who you are, let alone how to interpret poetry. You probably came from a foreign country, but then again you seem foreign to everyone in ways unrelated to immigration. Most people think you’re quite funny, but maybe you’re just sick. Talking to you ends up being much like playing a round of the popular board game Clue. (Hmm…..Whatever!!)

My country quiz result:
You’re South Africa! After almost endless suffering, you’ve finally freed yourself from the oppression that somehow held you back. Now your diamond in the rough is shining through, and the world can accept you for who you really are. You were trying to show who you were to the world, but they weren’t interested in helping you become that until it was almost too late. Suddenly you’re a very hopeful person, even if you still have some troubles. (Gosh! I sound straight out of a Balaji Serial)

(ps: Do tell me what book/country u r if u take the quiz….errr….that is if u too are as bored!)

Day after day after…

February 13, 2006

I remember this day during my junior college, when one of my female friends was at the mobile throughout our bus journey from home to college (not that it was an unusual day) receiving and sending congratulatory messages to her friends. On asking her about what was the matter, she quipped, “What? you dont know? Its ‘Friendship Day’ today.”
“Which world are you living in?” she questioned with a mix of surprise and belittling expression on her face as though I were naked and had forgotten to wear my clothes. For a girl like me, who is as bad as her amnesiac grandma when it comes to remembering dates, for one who always receives abuses (the mother/sister variety) from friends for not wishing them on their birthdays, this day obviously came as just another day, like it was no big deal! My friend then came upto me, held my hand almost aggressively and tied a yellow ribbon around my wrist. Then, she hugged and kissed me as though I was being sent to some sort of asylum the very next minute and she would never see me again in her life. Reminded me of those mother-son judaai scenes in Hindi films – the mother ties the taavis (sacred thread) around the wrist as her son leaves for a ‘mission impossible’… jeez, I meander…

Reaching college she wished a few others & said, “chal, I gotta go, will be back by noon, the others are waiting for you in the canteen.”
“Where to?”
“Don’t you get it, duh! To meet ‘him’, obviously!”
I was puzzled. “But a few months ago you celebrated Valentine’s Day and last week it was Rose Day…”
“Yes, but that was different. And so what? Friendship day is the most essential of all days” she began to explain. “Friendship is the foundation to all relationships… blah… blah” (I do not really know what those blahs stand for, ‘coz I could bear no more of the sermon, and had started heading towards the canteen) As expected, everyone in the college was out on the prowl like maniacs signing on each other’s hands, faces, T-shirts, tying ribbons, bands…

The ‘day after day’ factor has become a regular phenomenon with the youth today and honestly, I HATE IT. No! No! I am not a Bal Thakarey enthusiast nor am I against socializing, but I just don’t see any sense behind celebrating these so-called ‘days’ of the year. Does feelings towards friends, lovers, near and dear ones HAVE to be expressed this way? Do we HAVE to have a day for each and everything? If your answer is a NO, then do not read further. If otherwise, please read on… ‘coz here is where I let you taste the idea of having a well- structured potential schedule of THE ‘days of the world.’

Some retrospection reveals that…
These days the year is full of Days — Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Parents’ Day, Women’s Day, Labour Day, Children’s Day, Maritime Day, Meteorological Day. Practically every dog seems to have his own day. Navy Day, Air Force Day, Armed Forces Day, and then every national and international body comes out with its own days. For the last so many days, I have been wondering about these Days.

(I know that after publishing the rest of this post, when I leave home today to buy grocery from the neighboring kiraana, I am going to be Physically assaulted by some fanatics out there or they might just break into my home and smash my PC to pieces. Neways… )

Is there a National or International body to regulate these days? If not, it is high time we had one. I sincerely want the compassionate super-nations to come out with an All-world Board for Control of Days (ABCD, for short). The Board should take up the gigantic tasks of settling the claims and counter-claims of so many Daydreaming sections. Otherwise, some people would like us to celebrate a particular day as Marriage Day whereas the same day would be Divorce Day for others. The Board must ensure that such conflicting claims are resolved before they become serious problems. And when ABCD comes into being, it should consider inclusion of the following in its list: Brother’s Day, Sister’s Day (already celebrated in India, but to be internationalized), Uncle’s Day, Maternal Uncle’s Day, Wife’s Day, Husband’s Day, Ex-wife’s Day, Ex-husband’s Day, Ex-lover’s Day, Neighbour’s Wife’s Day, My pet-dog’s day, Your pet-dog’s day, In-laws’ Day, Out-laws’ Day, Enemy’s Day… They must not forget to have an Old Year’s Day, since we have a New Year’s Day.
Soon a day will come when we will have no more days to celebrate Days. And what a day that will be!!

Rang De Basanti – Complete yet incomplete

February 6, 2006

The Idea and some scenes that stand out for me
– The blending of flash back scenes from our freedom struggle like the Jalianwallah Baug, Kakori loot, etc. and the current happenings is done with great panache. Just loved each sequence. Beautiful connectivity, no sudden/irrelevant eruptions. The scene where the gang sits watching themselves on the screen/documentary, the melancholy silence of the atmosphere, their expressions after that and Madhavan’s entry with “koi marr gaya kya?” was too good.
– Delhi University auditions of students for their roles – Hilarious!!
– the interaction between the gang in the Lounge about the country, youth, politicians, corruption, etc.
– DJ’s onscreen chemistry with Sue (Alice Patton)
– Aamir’s interaction with his mom (Kiron Kher) for the first time is hilarious and both of them are adorable.

The spoken words
“Khoon jo ab na khaula, woh khoon nahi, paani hai
jo desh ke kaam na aaye, bekaar woh jawaani hai”

(saw the movie once and heard this line just once in the start – it is etched in my heart until eternity)

”ek paav past mein, ek paav future mein, isi liye hum apne present par moot rahe hai”
(Aamir utters it in a frivolous fashion onscreen it sounds more tongue-in-cheek than cheesy.)

“Is this the world of God?”
(rendered by the man who plays McKinley in a church with anger and remorse in his eyes – Makes me go one step further into becoming a dogmatic atheist)

Super fun Music
A R Rehman is a musical genius according to me and needs no appreciation. Background score is amazing!! Great lyrics by Prasoon Joshi

Need I say anything about chart-toppers Pathshaala and the title track sung by Daler Mehendi (for someone who hates him, this one came as a surprise)
Ik Onkaar by Harshadeep Kaur is excellent symphony, there’s not much music actually, her voice itself is mesmerising
Aslam, Nacim and ARR do a great job of Khalbali, though it sounds like a stereotype Arabic number, the exotic beats and desi touch gives it a good flavour.
The vim and vigour in Naresh Iyer and ARR’s voice coupled with the tinkling and effervescent notes of the guitar makes Roobaroo enthralling.
Mohit chauhan – frontman of Silk route soothes the ears with the poetic khoonchala.
Luka Chuppi according to me, is yet another masterpiece of the GOD – A R Rehman. My only complain is why does Lata have to sing every one of those true blue mother or message-giving songs. Like I said before, Lata should stop singing. The saving grace was Rehman’s voice making- up to her flaws (if I may say so), reminding me of his extremely heart rendering Ye jo Des hai mera (Swades)

Song-sequence Picturisations
Every song exhibits excellent direction, timeliness and cinematography. Screenplay by Rensil D’Silva is good. The best part is that none of the songs are fully played in the movie. Every song starts instantaneously yet is relevant to the situation, is incomplete going by the audio version yet is enough to drill into your heart and instill the mood.
An exception here was the eccentric and gentle tu bin bataye. Though the song is pretty good, why did Sonia (Soha Ali Khan) have to cry when her boyfriend, Ajay(R Madhawan) proposes to her? I mean, how stereotype is that!

Aamir Khan – This, I had to do as a loyal fan. A special attention to him is required here owing to my penchant for him and his sizzling-scorch of a performance in Rang de. Like I said before, Aamir yet again proves to be an actor in the true sense of the word and one who can never shatter the expectations of his fans. The word ‘perfect’ is imperfect to describe his delivery in the movie. May it be the Narcissistic- dare- devil-coolguy-on-campus – DJ merrymaking with “tim-tim-lak-laks” or the friendly “bhen-da-takkas“, may it be the politically conscious activist- with- renewed-strength rendering ardently the Lalkaar or some truely inspiring lines – Aamir lives upto his character and the seriousness of the movie with his much-lauded Punjabi cum Haryanvi accent.

Others
Atul Kulkarni does a typical and predictable role but is as usual at his best, living upto the theatre-guys-are-great-actors kinda image. His eyes speak volumes.
Alice patton is indeed very very good. With her naturally accented Hindi and no awkward deliveries, Alice lives upto her role. I loved the way she said, “tumhaari maa ki aankh”
Siddharth of whom I had absolutely no hopes of after I saw his disastrous debut – Boys (a Tamil Maniratnam flick.) His performance was a surprise package to me. His cynical nature and attitude towards the country is well enacted by himself. He gives a decent performance in Ray bans, jackets, cigarettes and with his quiet mannerisms.
Kunal Kapoor is serene, poetic, harmless and one of those who plays a not-very-integral yet no-nonsense role. Better than his performance in Meenaxi.
Sharman’s comic timings and interactions with Aamir are sure to make you laugh. He proves that he can think beyond Styles and Shaadi no.1s
Soha Ali Khan has improved and taken good long strides after her previous few flicks, still I feel she needs to go a long way. A role as intense as this came too soon in her career.

WEAK LINKS
Though, the message of ‘a generation awakens’ is rendered successfully at the end of 180 minutes, I felt it could have been delivered in a much better manner. In other words, the generation awakens, but now what? How can you and me as youngsters make a difference? Should we all join defence/police/politics? Or kill all corrupt politicians of the country? Will that solve the root problem? All these questions remain unanswered though many of these options which are provided in the movie are still debatable. So, all of this makes the movie a complete yet incomplete one.
The way the whole episode of the Defence minister and the gang’s attempts to execute him on his morning walk seemed very superfluous. Given that the gang is not made of professional-killers, they could have still thought a bit more complex.

My Quote
“Well, watched an OK Aamir Khan movie. Initially appeared to be a strange mix though of Arthur Miller’s All my sons and Shaheed Bhagat Singh. The conflicts and difference of opinions are not portrayed too loudly. All said and done, the movie is youthful, contemporary and can be a joyful experience. But, could definitely have been better.”

Reflecting random thoughts

February 1, 2006

I sometimes feel the Sun has always been a part of me. In fact, he’s etched within my very soul as though, he were doing complete justice to my name. Perhaps this is why I exhibit his traits. He is an early riser, so am I. He lights up the dark/gloomy world, so do I, metaphorically speaking! He dazzles & is cheery all the time, so am I. An eclipse is a rare feature, though. I may not seem as ‘hot’ as him, but I can scorch people to death when they try to get on my nerves.

Then there are days when I see the Sun as a constant companion, one who is watching me almost always. He turns the sand into wet-gold. Ever elusive, ever glistening. I sit there thinking of someone, not knowing who exactly it is I am thinking of, but loving the way my thoughts inch forward at a leisurely pace. The way the salt in the air is a balm to my wounds, the water plays the brine in which to preserve them add some memories for spice if I care. I sit a part of millions and yet alone. I am not scared, I am way too struck by the beauty of the moment, its fleetingness.
Somehow in my vision I see myself gathering sea shells, laughing to myself and I am never looking for company or waiting for someone (though I am well aware waiting for you by the seaside would make a prettier picture) I feel like an island. But when I wake up I am happy with my dream as well as happy not being an island. Makes me wonder whether I am leading a dual life in my head. Am I schizoid or just myself?
And at times when I read what I write I feel ashamed. Cant quite pinpoint ashamed of what. But ashamed I am. Of vulnerability, of not being an island and quite knowing it, of things that happened and things that didn’t. I barely repent I just feel ashamed. Perhaps its not making sense to anyone else but it makes perfect sense to me.
I can quite apply logic to the thoughts above……
And then my hum takes my vocal chords to B-flat four (that’s the scale I sing in, usually)…
aye saala
abhi abhi huaa yaqeen
ki aag hai mujh mein kahi
hui subaah main jal gaya
suraj ko main nigal gaya
ruu-ba-ruu roshni hai… ruu-ba-ruu roshni hai…

jo gumshuda-sa khwaab tha
voh mil gaya voh khil gaya
uulon hathaa pighal gaya
khichhaa khichhaa machal gaya
sitaar mein badal gaya
ruu-ba-ruu roshni hai… ruu-ba-ruu roshni hai…

dhuaan chhataa khula gagan mera
nayi dagar naya safar mera
jo ban sake tu hamsafar mera
nazar mila zara

aandhiyon se jaghad rahi hai lau meri
ab mashaalon si bhad rahi hai lau meri
naamo nishaan… papparappa…rahe na rahe….rippaparrra….
ye kaaravaan rahe na rahe
ujaale mein pee gaya
roshan huaa….papparappa….jee gaya
kyon sehte raheee……
ruu-ba-ruu roshni hai……

dhuaan chhataa khula gagan……..ruu-ba-ruu roshni……aye saala…..aye saala……

(ps: From Rang de Basanti)